Wednesday, June 29, 2011
The Assault on Freedom of Speech by the Left's SWAT Teams in Israel's Judicial System
establishment, and the dual justice system of Israel, continue to
terrorize the country.
The latest is a series of arrests of Rabbis for expressing opinions.
Rabbi Dov Lior and the son of the ex-Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Yaakov
Yosef were both arrested for the crime of approving a book. In
response, Lior's followers, many from Kiryat Arba, rioted violently
yesterday. I strongly oppose their violent behavior, but I also think
it was triggered by the anti-democratic zeal of the prosecution in its
attempts at suppressing freedom of speech.
All this has to do with an 230-page esoteric book written by someone
else (Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur) concerning the
halakhic (rabbinic) rules under which non-Jewish non-combatants may be
killed during wartime. The question itself of collateral harm to
civilians arises in halakha, as it does in other real-world ethical
debate. As I have already said in these postings, the publication of
the book was foolish and serves as a provocation and intentional
antagonizing of non-Jews, and obviously is being featured on all
anti-Semitic web sites as "proof" that Jews connive to murder gentiles
(as one example, see this:
). As one prominent (Orthodox authoritative) Israeli rabbi has said
in regard to the book, some Rabbis should be prohibited from taking
pen to hand. Not everything that is protected speech is something
that one should say or write. Of course the position of the Leftist
Ascendancy in Israel is that the book is NOT protected speech, and
even praising the book or recommending that others read it is illegal
"incitement" and "racism." "Mein Kampf" and Shlomo Sand's latest
exercises in anti-Semitism however can be purchased in any Israeli
Having said that, and given that the book WAS published, provocation
notwithstanding, the Israeli judicial establishment has been using it
as an excuse to suppress freedom of speech. The authors of the tract
themselves have not yet been indicted but are expected to be soon.
Meanwhile, the leftist SWAT teams in the Ministry of Justice and the
police are going after any Rabbi who even expresses a positive opinion
about the book.
The persecution of Rabbis for expressing an opinion about someone
else's book stands in sharp dramatic contrast to the treatment of
Sheikh Salah. Head of the Islamofascist movement in Israel, the
bloody Sheikh, a proud stand-in and surrogate for the Hamas, regularly
and openly calls for terrorism and the annihilation of Israel. Two
years back, he spoke at the University of Haifa and called for Arab
students to become suicide bombers (see this report
). He is so openly genocidal that he was arrested in Britain this
week when he slipped through passport control and managed to enter the
UK. He has never been arrested or indicted in Israel, except for one
arrest when he punched a policeman.
But persecuting Rabbis who exercise their freedom of speech about a
controversial book is not ALL that the anti-democratic SWAT teams are
doing. According to Haaretz today, they are ALSO preparing to
prosecute Rabbis who call on Jews not to sell or lease property in
Jewish neighborhoods to Arabs. This is "racist," opine the SWAT team
commanders. So just what is NOT racist? It is evidently NOT racist
for far-leftists and Arabs to call for the prohibition of sales and
renting of property to JEWS in Sheikh Jarrah and in other parts of
East Jerusalem. No one is being prosecuted or indicted for THAT!
That is protected speech. It is also protected speech to call for the
prohibition of selling or leasing property in predominantly secularist
neighborhoods to Orthodox or Chareidi families. That is not racism
either. But wait, you say, the Orthodox are hardly a "race." Well,
neither are the Arabs.
The hypocrisy of the Left when it comes to freedom of speech is
mind-numbing. At my own university (Haifa) the tenured Left is
obsessed these days with justifying and celebrating the decision last
week by the Law School to prohibit the singing of Hatikva, lest it
offend the delicate sensitivities of Arab students, some of whom
regularly hold rallies with Hamas banners and who distribute photos of
bin Laden. Scores of tenured leftists are posting support for the
decision on an internal university chat list. Some of those express
the opinion that Hatikva is a racist anti-Arab song and should be
banned altogether. One faculty member, English lecturer Ron Kuzar,
composed his own post-Zionist alternative to Hatikva. At least one
faculty member (the extremist Israel-hating professor of psychology
Micah Leshem) called for the singing of the PLO anthem Baladi Baladi
at the university. I have no doubt most of these people would also
like to ban all Israeli flags from campus.
Now as it turns out, most of the tenured leftists so upset by the idea
of Arab students having to be present when Hatikva is sung ALSO just
sent a petition to the University Rector and President, demanding that
Sheikh Salah again be allowed to speak at the university. After that
last incident two years back when speaking on campus, when the
genocidal Sheikh called for suicide bombers, the University decided he
would not be allowed to speak on campus again. (Tel Aviv University
rushed in to fill the void and hosted Salah a few weeks back.) So
here we have scores of tenured university faculty members insisting in
the name of freedom of speech and academic freedom that the genocidal
Sheikh be allowed to speak on campus and call for mass murder of Jews.
Many of those signing were faculty in the law school.
So guess how many of those same people, including the law school's
tenured Left at the University of Haifa, have expressed protest and
indignation over the arrests this week of Rabbi Lior, Rabbi Yosef, and
the other Rabbis? How many objected to THAT infringement of freedom
That's right, grasshopper, not a single one!
See also this:
2. The wonderful Melanie Phillips and the british PM:
3. Israpundit, 6/26/11
Reform Angst Regarding Israel and Jewish Nationalism
By Matthew M. Hausman *
4. Vegan army boots?
The IDF apparently does not want to offend vegetarians. This was on
the news today: if a soldier brings a letter from his physician
stating that he is a vegan or a vegetarian and does not eat meat or
use leather products, they will issue him non-leather army boots.
But if he brings a letter from his Rabbi that his religion does not
permit him to drag Jews from their homes, or destroy Jewish homes,
will they let him wear the tee shirt and opt out?